Boca Raton/Palm Beach County
American Association of Caregiving Youth (AACY)
the national resource for the support of children who care for family members who are ill, injured, elderly or disabled by increasing awareness about youth caregiving; fostering the replication of the Caregiving Youth Project; providing support services for student-caregivers and their families; and, establishing the Caregiving Youth Institute. The ultimate goal is for all caregiving youth to be able to complete their education and become healthy, productive adults; no child in the US should need to drop out of school because of family caregiving responsibilities.
Student Recipient: Sephora Dubreuze, Boca Raton Community HS
In addition to her family caregiving responsibilities, Sephora is active in her local community: she has built homes for Habitat for Humanity, helped the elderly and disabled at Avanti Nursing Home, constructed event sets for the City of Boca Raton’s Parks and Recreation Dept., volunteered with Surfers for Autism helping autistic children, and volunteered for In the Pines by working with children from migrant families. She maintains a 3.7 GPA and hopes to study culinary arts and business.
Fort Lauderdale/Broward County
HANDY’s mission is to embrace, educate, and empower vulnerable youth to become engaged, productive adults. HANDY has met the needs of almost 50,000 Broward County children and youth in foster and relative/non-relative care under protective supervision.
Student Recipient: Kimi Farrington, Pompano Beach HS
Kimi volunteered at her local Boys and Girls Club during her freshman and sophomore years of high school, where she taught younger girls about positive self esteem and being a role model, and worked with disabled children at her local YMCA helping with the afterschool program. She also worked in a nursing home as a server in their cafeteria and has continued to visit the residents during non-working hours. She maintains a 4.3 GPA from Pompano Beach HS and a 4.0 cumulative GPA at Broward College, where she is dual enrolled. Kimi dreams of being a Supreme Court Justice.
The Guadalupe Center
What started as a soup kitchen to feed impoverished families in Immokalee, Florida, has grown into a strong nonprofit dedicated to breaking the poverty cycle through educational, social and other support programs and resources for families.
Student Recipient: Candace Perez, Immokalee HS
Candace worked with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a non-profit organization fighting for farm workers’ rights, and helped to improve work conditions for 30,000 farm workers. She attended a college prep program at Penn State this summer, and will be the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend college.
The Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program
The Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program inspires, motivates and empowers young women to live up to their full potential through a unique mentoring program which pairs its network of over 300 highly accomplished professional women with small groups of at-risk public high schools girls for monthly school-based mentoring sessions. The program exposes at-risk girls to opportunities otherwise unavailable to them; teaches vital personal and professional skills necessary for life success; helps them set and achieve goals; increases their self-esteem, and helps to reduce and prevent engaging in risky behaviors. Women of Tomorrow now operates in 42 Florida and 7 Metro Detroit cities, serving over 2,500 at-risk young women annually in 126 public high schools, and has awarded over $3 million in scholarships.
Student Recipient: Ashira Vantrees, Cooper City HS
Ashira received a Girl Scout Gold Award for her efforts collecting donations and preparing care packages for 136 homeless individuals in the community. She also prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a local homeless shelter and helped put together additional care packages and letters for U.S. troops serving overseas. She maintains a 4.13 GPA and has taken all honors classes in English, science and history in all three years of high school and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in disaster management and humanitarian relief, stemming from her passion for giving back to those in need.
In addition to Bess, Pouncey and Leck,
the judging panel included: Champion Services Group President and CEO
; Consortium of Florida Education Foundations President
; local philanthropist
; Florida College System Foundation President
“Society Scene” Publisher
; Sapoznik Insurance & Associates Founder, President and CEO
; and City of Miami Protocol Officer
Dr. Wallis Tinnie.
For more information on the Sun Life Rising Star Awards, please visit
About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including group and voluntary life, disability, dental and stop-loss insurance products. These products are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada in all states except New York. In New York, these products are issued by Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. For more information please visit
. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
SLPC 24494 (9/12) exp. 9/17